January 19, 2010

This just in from USAID-DCHA.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

ยท On January 18, Haitian Prime Minister Bellerive noted that the Government of Haiti (GoH) has declared a countrywide state of emergency and one month of mourning. The GoH is working to stabilize the situation in the country and has requested that banks, including at least 30 in Port-au-Prince, reopen on January 19, allowing businesses to distribute employees' salaries and restart operations.
January 19, 2010

USAID is providing us with updates as to the Key Developments and Current Situation as they have assessed daily. We will in turn share them with you. Please see the pdf attached for the full update. Key Developments for yesterday are below. As we receive them, we will post for the latest facts and figures.
January 19, 2010

by Jenny Eaton Dyer, Ph.D.

We are proud to announce that the Haiti Disaster Relief Fund has raised over $48,000!

We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from individuals and foundations for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
January 18, 2010

The medical need in Haiti is desperate -- in particular for surgeons. Having responded in this capacity just after the tsunami in Sri Lanka and four days after the levees broke following Katrina, I decided to join fellow physicians from Samaritans purse in Haiti.

On Sunday I spent the morning at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville going through their basement, picking out medical supplies most notably antibiotics and intravenous fluids, they generously provided for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Frist Arrives at Baptist Mission Hospital

At First Glance

Jan 18 2010

January 18, 2010

At First Glance

Baptist Mission Hospital -- Fermathe, Haiti

Its 3:30pm and we have been on site for 5 hours. The Baptist Mission Hospital here in Fermathe has two doctors and about 100 beds. Since the hospital is 20 miles north of Port au Prince, it is normally used as a referral hospital. But it is all pretty simple; it did not have even a basic lab until last month; it does not have blood for transfusions; and it is very elementary.

January 13, 2010

As the facts slowly emerge revealing the extent of the devastation in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake yesterday, we are learning that perhaps over half a million lives have been lost.

Major officials and dignitaries lost their lives yesterday. Moreover, governmental buildings, the national palace, and other historic buildings have collapsed.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere suffering from extreme poverty. This natural disaster will create extraordinary need in a country where it is being estimated 1 in 3 Haitians have been affected by the earthquake.

Many have written and asked: Where should we send money? Hope Through Healing Hands will be collecting a fund where 100% of the monies will be donated to the best organizations, on the ground in Haiti, with whom we partner and work. You can donate directly to Hope Through Healing Hands: Haiti Disaster Relief Fund in the next 24 hours on our website.

We will give you updates from these organizations as to the usage of the funding over the next month.

How can you help? Donate today.

And, please keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers.

Yours,

Bill Frist, M.D.

P.S. The Haitian Disaster Relief Fund will be up shortly, if it is not already. Please check back soon if the website has yet to have it posted. Thanks for your patience.

 

I was welcomed back to the United States with those infamous words, "is there a doctor or a nurse on board" over the loud speaker of the airplane. Though I was the closet to the patient and the first to volunteer, I was happy to hand over my responsibilities to the doctor that eventually came from the back of the plane. Besides, there was not too much that anyone could do for shortness of breath related to pulmonary hypertension in mid-air other than apply the oxygen mask. Until that trip, I never knew how many gadgets and medical contraptions were hiding out in that first overhead bin on the airplane. Though we were met by EMS when we taxied into the gate, the patient walked off the plane without difficulty. Needless to say, it was an eventful homecoming.
January 11, 2010

From: PneumoALERT at preventpneumo.org

Call to USAID to Take Action on Pneumonia and Diarrhea

Dear Colleagues,


I am excited to tell you that on January 7, 2010, Dr. Rajiv Shah was sworn in as USAID Administrator. This is a great opportunity to welcome Dr. Shah to his new leadership position and to call on him to take up the cause of pneumonia and diarrhea, the world's two leading causes of child mortality.

Dr. Shah has led and worked with many of the initiatives that are defining best practice in the field of development, including the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, the Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His tireless efforts to immunize children around the world have helped save countless lives.

The latest in gifts that last a lifetime


Originally published December 21, 2009 at 7:05 a.m., updated December 21, 2009 at 7:05 a.m.

MCT FORUM

www.victoriaadvocate.com

By Bill Frist and Orin Levine

(MCT)

Think it's impossible to find a child a hot, new gift for a modest price? If you're hunting for one of those trendy electronic hamsters, you might be out of luck. But take heart: $10 or $15 can still go a long way - and even save a child's life.

New vaccines at those prices can prevent the two biggest killers of young children - pneumonia and diarrheal disease. As a nation we have a great opportunity to extend a spirit of generosity to the world's children with the highest risk of dying.

In a season when gathering with family is a joyful tradition, reflect on the nearly 9 million families that lost a child under 5 this past year to preventable and treatable diseases.

Almost all these families live in the developing world. Unfortunately, they didn't have access to the new vaccines or the even less expensive treatments - like antibiotics or oral-rehydration fluids - that have been around for years. Yearly, pneumonia and diarrhea kill nearly 4 million small children. Preventable neonatal infections and malaria are the other major killers.

AIDS, the focus of nearly three-quarters of current U.S. global health funding, accounts for less than 3 percent of these child deaths worldwide. It's truly inspiring that over the past several years the United States has granted 2 million people living with HIV and AIDS a new lease on life through access to drug treatments. Amazingly, for just a fraction of the $5.7 billion we'll spend fighting AIDS this year alone, we could deliver life-saving services to tens of millions of children who lack access to basic health care.

We can do both.

We would dramatically reduce the number of children who die needlessly each year.

The United States already has an admirable track record in saving children's lives. We've helped make measles and tetanus vaccinations and life-saving oral rehydration therapy widely available around the world - preventing millions of child deaths. In Bangladesh, Nepal, Mozambique and Ethiopia, broad-based, U.S.-funded programs have been integral in cutting child mortality rates by more than 40 percent since 1990. These programs work, and they have shown that making affordable and effective health interventions available can save lives, even in very poor countries.

Such scientifically proven, remarkably cheap options include oral rehydration solution and zinc, low-cost drugs to treat pneumonia and malaria, and breastfeeding counseling. Add the new vaccines for pneumonia and diarrhea to the mix and we now have the tools to achieve revolutionary reductions in under-5 deaths.

In May, President Obama pledged to emphasize basic health care for mothers and children as part of his new global health initiative. But he didn't ask for much more money this past year, and last week Congress approved only a modest $54 million increase for maternal and child health care, as well as $400 million more in AIDS and malaria funding that will in part benefit children.

Using figures published in The Lancet medical journal, experts estimate that $1 billion in increased funding for child and maternal health could save 1 million children's lives a year. U.S. leadership would inspire other wealthy nations to join the cause. And, by working with developing nations to ensure health interventions reach children and families on the margins, the U.S. would help those countries strengthen their national health systems to improve the children's health for generations to come.

Let's encourage President Obama to be as bold in exercising U.S. leadership on global health as he has been in responding decisively to the global hunger crisis. In this season when children anxiously await their gifts and we their smiling faces, Americans can all be part of the greatest gift for children everywhere - the chance to survive and thrive.

___

ABOUT THE WRITERS

Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a physician, is the chairman of Save the Children's Survive to 5 campaign. Orin Levine is executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

This essay is available to McClatchy-Tribune News Service subscribers. McClatchy-Tribune did not subsidize the writing of this column; the opinions are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of McClatchy-Tribune or its editors.

___

(c) 2009, Save the Children

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Raj Shah and America's Development Future
Dec. 17, 2009, 12:12 p.m.
By Bill Frist
Special to Roll Call

________________________________________
In most years, Senate deliberations over a nomination for administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, which leads American efforts to fight poverty and disease in the developing world, would pass without note.

This year is different. American efforts to improve the lives of the world's poorest people have never been so important. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted last week to refer the nomination of Dr. Rajiv Shah for USAID administrator to the floor for a full vote, which is expected soon. Dr. Shah should be confirmed without delay for three key reasons.

First, successful outcomes to our most pressing national security challenges, including the war in Afghanistan and instability in Pakistan, depend just as much on our ability to provide health services and economic opportunity to struggling people as on our combat operations or diplomatic efforts. Both President Barack Obama's new Afghanistan strategy and the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Pakistan aid package make substantial new commitments based on this idea.

Second, the global fights against HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases have reached a turning point. U.S.-led programs such as former President George W. Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, have helped poor families and communities move from a moment of crisis toward a moment of opportunity. We need to work twice as hard to maintain and build on this progress.

Third, the Obama administration and bipartisan Congressional leaders are in the midst of a transformative debate about how to make U.S. foreign assistance more effective and accountable. The unprecedented momentum in this debate is on the side of those who believe we need a new development strategy and a more efficient foreign assistance system that produces greater returns for recipients and taxpayers alike.

Given the gravity of these issues and the costs of inaction, Dr. Shah's development leadership is needed now. He is a medical doctor and health economist who led the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's $1.5 billion vaccine fund and played a key role in launching its global development division, which now disburses hundreds of millions of dollars for agricultural security and financial services for the poor. These experiences, coupled with the fact that he came of age professionally as revolutionary new programs like PEPFAR, the Global Fund, and the Millennium Challenge Corp. drove landmark progress on global poverty and disease, prepare him well to manage America's development future.

If confirmed, Dr. Shah will face resistance from entrenched bureaucrats in USAID and the dozens of other government offices that oversee development programs. With political support from the Obama administration and Congress, he will need to assert himself immediately to gain control of this fragmented system, or risk being swallowed by it. To do so, Dr. Shah should assume a visible leadership role on foreign assistance reform and help drive it to a successful conclusion, but he must also focus on other specific issues.

For example, U.S. support for PEPFAR and the Global Fund has helped create massive new systems for prevention, testing, and treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in poor countries. These systems have greatly enhanced the ability of developing countries to meet the needs of their people, and we must figure out whether we can effectively expand them to offer even more life-changing services such as comprehensive family health care, entrepreneurship education and small-business loans. The Obama administration is taking initial steps in this direction through its marquee food security initiative ‹ developed in part with Dr. Shah's leadership at the Agriculture Department ‹ which focuses on linking food security, a development priority, to nutrition, a global health priority. This is a promising sign.

We must also direct our precious development resources to more effective, low-cost health interventions such as vaccines, breast-feeding and increased access to skilled family care in rural communities. And we must invest our development dollars in programs that are showing measurable results, including multilateral efforts such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the GAVI Fund, and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

Changes like these are never easy. But we can't let inertia drag us down at this moment in time ‹ a moment when the future of the world's so-called bottom billion, and our own American future, hangs in the balance. Dr. Shah has what is needed to carry on President Bush's global health legacy and fulfill President Obama's extraordinary development vision. The Senate should confirm him, and the Obama administration should give him the political support and resources he needs to succeed. Millions of lives will be affected by this choice.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a heart surgeon, is a member of the Millennium Challenge Corp.'s board of directors.

 

Subscribe to our newsletter to recieve the latest updates.